Billionaire Unmasked

By: J.S. Scott

In the end, Hope’s traitorous body made the decision all by itself. Her female hormones did a victory cheer as she let her fingers slide into the coarse texture of his hair and yanked his mouth harder against her own.

Closer. I need to be closer to him. I need this. I need him.

She let her tongue duel with his, gave herself up to the moment. Jason was taboo, her secret fantasy come to life, and she let herself wallow in the passion of the desperate touch of his lips as he conquered her mouth. He brought her body to life for the first time in a very long time, and with far more intensity than she’d ever experienced. With Jason, there was no slow burn from his passionate kiss; she felt incinerated, overpowered by his masculinity, the heat between them completely consuming.

Finally, he pulled his mouth from hers. Both of them panted from the out-of-control encounter.

“That’s why I needed privacy,” he told her hungrily. His face was buried in her hair and she quivered from the heat of his breath on her neck. “Watching you from across the room was killing me.”

Coming back to reality, Hope tried to pull away from him. “Jason, I—”

“Don’t,” he growled. His arms tightened around her. “Don’t tell me that you didn’t want that and a whole lot more as much as I do.”

She couldn’t tell him that, because it would have been a lie. There had been enough lies in her life. She hadn’t expected her body to respond to desire like this, but she had a volatile reaction to Jason. “I did want it. If I didn’t, you’d be screaming in pain right now from me nailing you in the balls with my knee.”

And God help me, I do want more. But I can’t. I can’t do this.

She would never give herself over completely to physical desire, and she knew instinctively that with Jason, it would most likely be all or nothing. He was never tepid in anything he did, and she was fairly certain he’d want everything from her.

A low husky chuckle vibrated against her ear. “I’m happy to know you haven’t changed much,” he said, amused.

Oh yeah, I have—you’d be surprised how different I am. “You don’t know me anymore.” She pulled back slowly, to wean herself off the incredible feel of his body against hers.

He grasped her by the shoulders, and wrapped her more tightly in his jacket. “Maybe I don’t,” he conceded. “But I want to catch up. I want you. Spend time with me tonight, Hope. Let’s go on an adventure together like we did when we were kids.”

That comment hit like a bolt of lightning to her heart. Her little adventures with Jason had been the highlights of her childhood. Granted, most of their so-called adventures ended up in the local candy store because Jason was addicted to chocolate, or the ice cream shop because she’d begged him to take her, but Jason had always made those simple excursions seem like crazy expeditions. Looking back, he’d been a very good sport about playing a sea captain or an explorer when he was already in high school, just for her amusement. “I’m not ten years old anymore,” she muttered unhappily.

“Believe me, I’m well aware of that fact,” Jason replied darkly, enigmatically.

Hope put her hands on his muscular biceps. She looked up at him and searched his expression, able to decipher very little in the dim lights of the patio, except for the hint of desire that lingered in his eyes. “Why? You have women falling at your feet on a daily basis. Why me? Why now? You could pick the most gorgeous woman in the room back there if you want to kill some time.” Jason Sutherland was a billionaire investor, and at the age of thirty-one, he was one of the most sought-after bachelors in the world. Even if she was an old family friend, why did he want to spend any time with her? Although Hope owned a home here in Amesport, Maine, she didn’t live here, and Jason had flown in just to attend Grady’s engagement and New Year’s party. Both of them would leave in the morning. Maybe he was just restless and bored. Still, there were plenty of attractive women inside for him to pick from if he just wanted a one-nighter. She couldn’t give him what he wanted, and she wanted more from him than she was capable of accepting. Jason made her crave him like a highly addictive drug, but she knew she was unable to absorb him like she wanted to do.

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